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5 Honest Lessons I Wish I Had Taught My Daughter A While Ago

My daughter is affectionate, loyal, goofy, and as confident as a girl just entering her teen years can be. She’s also precocious, headstrong, and blunt when it comes to sharing her honest opinion. I can’t tell if gentleness and tact was something I failed to instill in her, or if she refuses to use it.

lessons

Either way, there’s no getting around her when it comes to opinions and truth. Throughout our relationship, I’ve learned to be a better father while trying to teach her how to be a decent human-being. Each of my children have taught me different lessons, but these are some of the things I wished I’d picked up on just a little sooner.

Accepting Emotion

Not going to lie. My generation was raised to believe that men didn’t cry. To be strong was to be stone, a fatherly machine that worked, provided, offered piggy back rides, and that was it.

Connecting with my daughter as she grew meant that I had to get rid of my fear of showing emotion and to be present for her when she needed me.

Let Her Play

My two oldest are boys. They roughhouse and argue and build things outside. When my little girl was old enough, she naturally wanted to go everywhere they went. I couldn’t explain it, but I had this need to preserve her from harm, and my fear of her getting hurt made me hold her back more than I should’ve. The arguments put a lot of strain on our everyday life, not to mention our relationship.

Once I released those reins and decided to treat her as my child and not just a girl who can’t be allowed to get hurt, the tension disappeared along with it.

Don’t Stop Communicating

Once it stops, it’s an uphill battle to get it going again like any other habit. I’d let it slip as she got older, and she was quick to fill that time and fall out of the habit of telling me things. As she got older and I wanted to chat with her about things, it was no longer easy to strike up a casual conversation.

Strength is More Than Muscle

As I said, my daughter is vocal when it comes to her opinion, and this includes if she’s feeling victimized. Once the conversation came up about the over-sexualization of girls in the media, she was quick to pipe up every time she saw it. She’s fearless when it comes to standing up for herself against anyone that feels she’s nothing more than window dressing.

Think of Them as Children, Not Boys and Girls

It’s simple. Love your children, and get to know them. Don’t put them in a box of what you think they’re capable of or can or can’t do. Let them decide their own passions. My daughter is just as handy with a hammer and saw as her brothers are, and isn’t afraid to wear a dress.

Our children are more than the imaginary concept of colors being gender specific. They’re thoughts, feelings, and souls, and should be nurtured every day to discover exactly what it is that makes their souls sing.

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
Twitter | Linkedin | Google +

17 comments

  • Se manifique blog post!!! i love the message behind this and the wisdom you’re sharing, especially about how to treat them as children and not just what you expect them to be. haha so true about the Men don’t cry part.

  • What a great post and I love the honesty. It is important to empower all children and your truths are great ways to do that.

  • I love that she pipes right up for those she feels are being exploited. Also happy to hear of the positive change. those always feel like major wins. 🙂

  • I love this article, I also have a daughter and learning to treat her as a child and not a girl is huge. I hate when people tell me she shouldn’t do something because she’s a girl.

  • Wonderful post that more parents should read. As a homeschooling family, we do tend to veer towards listening to our kids more and letting them shape their own destiny from a very young age.

  • My two boys was different personality one was quiet and have a long patience to his brother while my one boy get easily mad and short patience.

  • Great list of lessons to teach your children. My father had three girls and never treated us like girls. I can still remember the sting of the baseball when it hit my glove. lol

  • I love the last part, think of them as children and not boys or girls. As a parent, we don’t realize how much we learn from our kids. I think you’re doing also doing a great job on raising them and you don’t have to regret things that you never taught them, you can explain that along the way.

  • Great post! My husband and I had his first daughter three years ago. I can see a change in him so much since we had her. You pointed out some really great tips, but my favorite is, to think of them as children, not boys and girls. That is so true.

  • Excellent commentary and tips for anyone with children. In this day and age – we need to treat them as children and it is less about treating them as boys and/or girls.

  • About Author

    Tyler Jacobson

    Tyler Jacobson

    Tyler Jacobson is a father, husband, and writer, with experience as a content writer and outreach coordinator for HelpYourTeenNow. Tyler has offered honest advice and humor to struggling parents and teens. Tyler has researched and written on education problems, disorders, the world of social media, addiction, and pressing issues with raising a teen today. Follow Tyler on:
    Twitter | Linkedin | Google +

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